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2315"I'm an instructor in our local cyclists' club and we teach . . "

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    Apr 1, 2001
      Dear Theo Schmidt and other knowledgeable CarFree Cyclists,

      We here at The Commons - the group behind Earth Car Free Day - have long
      maintained in our transport policy and practice work that cycling, and in
      particular urban cycling, is something that people need to take the time to
      learn to do properly. We have seen in over thirty years of observation and
      advisory work in almost as many countries that is simply ain't as easy as
      it may look to most observers. When an American or Southern European goes
      to the Netherlands or Demark and sees all those people scooting about so
      easily on their cycles, the presumption all too often is what is needed to
      making cycling safe and effective is hardware (paths, bike racks, etc.) and
      certainly not software (training, education, culture). And of course they
      are fatally wrong (and all too often as Theo has pointed out literally so).
      Which brings me to my question and proposition to you all.

      On Earth Car Free Day we would like to see if we can get this message out,
      and for that we need to have access to some sort of "kit" to guide people in
      this. Maybe such a kit already exists. If do, it would be great to know
      where so that we can link to it.
      Certainly one fine example of a good tool for this is that
      www.bicyclinglife.com site which Lauren Cooper mentions. But I see this as
      a very useful input and not exactly the tool that we are looking for here.

      More generally I am aware that there is a lot that is available on our
      subject, but I wonder if someone who is right in the middle of this might
      possibly take a few hours and create specifically an outline and guide for a
      1-3 hour 'cycling initiation workshop' that people with a heart, head and
      good strong legs might be able to use in their communities to either start
      or support ongoing educational efforts and programs along these lines. A
      curriculum of sorts. And I imagine that anything along these lines could be
      made rich with references and supporting materials from other cyclist sites
      and program on the Web.

      My thought was that one or more of the good people in this forum might take
      a first whack at an outline for such a program and that we could then
      circulate it in the coming days for comment, additions, etc. First here and
      then when you consider it ready for it on a few other well placed cycling
      sites.

      I am sure that this would be a precious contribution to the communities that
      make use of it. And to quote Mr. Schmidt: "If I can only teach one child (or
      parent) to look out better, it will have been worth it." I think we would
      be able to say that to ourselves in this case too.

      We very much hope that some of you will pick up this challenge,

      Eric Britton

      Earth Car Free Day 2001 is at www.carfreeday.com
      "We must be the change we wish to see"

      The Commons ___technology, economy, society ___
      Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara, 75006 Paris, France
      Eric.Britton@... Tel: +331 4326 1323 URL ecoplan.org
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